Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pushing the Pace

June and July have been very hard working months, in terms of intensity.  My coach has me pushing the pace to get sharp enough before we transition to marathon specific training.  It's been great.  I've never felt more efficient.  The speed work is broken up during the week.  Instead of having just one gigantic killer workout, having multiple smaller workouts while keeping the mileage relatively high I believe has enabled me to recover better.  You can see the training below the past several weeks, and how it has built up from previous weeks in May and April.  I've been able to handle this training because of the endurance segment I did over the winter(see my February post  I'm starting to see how things are connecting here, and building off each other.  The idea is that now the faster stuff is becoming more natural to me, and much of the paces I've been doing have been between 4:20's-4:40's.  These workouts have made 5:00 pace seem "easier."  My weakness has always been running shorter at faster speeds.  Yes I can run an all out 4:21 mile on the roads, but my real strength is being able to run just slightly slower for a much longer period of time.  The training is geared towards running just a little bit slower than that all out mile I ran, and getting comfortable with it.  My coach has also been having me work on pace changes, which has made the harder pace actually seem easier.

On June 13, I battled Chris Kwiatkowski at the Lawyers Have Heart 10K in very tough heat and humidity.  Despite Chris pulling away the last mile to beat me by 24 seconds, I was pleased I was able to stay on him for most of the race.  Chris is a 1:04 half marathoner and arguably DC's top runner.

On this past July 4th, I won the hilly Autism Speaks 5K in Potomac.  After messing around with a 4:45 first mile with a young college kid, I went ahead and hammered the rest of the course to finish in 15:24, which for that course I was happy with the time.  The second half of the course is the hardest and most hilly.  My coach also came to the race which was nice.  I did some research to see if my time was close to the course record, and I found Ethiopian Gurmessa Megressa ran 15:18 in 2009.  So close.    

Below is my training the last several weeks:

June 1 - June 7:

Mon- AM: 3200m of 50m on/off: 10:15, 5 miles total/PM: 7 miles  
Tues- 1200m: 3:34, 1600m: 4:46, 2000m: 5:59, 9 miles total
Wed- AM: 16 miles/PM: 3 miles
Thurs- 9 miles w/ 5 mile pickup
Fri- AM: 5 miles/PM: strides + 5 miles
Sat- 4 x 1200m w/ pace accelerations:
Interval 1: 600m: 1:54, 600m: 1:41, 
Interval 2: 600m: 1:55, 600m: 1:41
Interval 3: 600m: 1:52, 600m: 1:41, 
Interval 4: 600m: 1:52, 600m: 1:40
7 miles total/PM: 8.5 miles
Sun- 20 miles

Total: 95 miles

June 8 - June 14:

Mon- AM: 5 miles/PM: 3200m of 50m on/off: 9:50, 7 miles total
Tues- 1600m: 4:33, 6 miles total
Wed- 11 miles
Thurs- 7 miles + strides
Fri- AM: 4 miles/PM: 3 miles
Sat- Lawyers Have Heart 10K, 2nd place
Sun- AM: 14 miles/ PM: 6 miles

Total: 75 miles

On June 17-27, I went to Florida with Beth's family for vacation.  I also got acclimated to training in the heat.  I got very, very used to the heat there.

June 15 - June 21:

Mon- AM: 5 miles/PM: 7 miles
Tues- AM: 10 miles/PM: 3.5 miles
Wed- AM: 2 x 2400m: 7:12, 7:15, 8.5 miles total
PM: 5.5 miles
Thurs- AM: 14 miles/PM: 5 miles
Fri- AM: 7.5 miles/PM: 5.5 miles + strides
Sat- AM: 2 x 2400m: 7:10, 7:14/PM: 7 miles
Sun: 20 miles

Total: 106 miles

June 22 - June 28:

Mon- AM: 3200m of 50m on/off: 10:12, 6 miles total
PM: 5 miles
Tues- AM: 4 x 1200m w/ pace accelerations:
Interval 1: 600m: 1:52, 600m: 1:42, 
Interval 2: 600m: 1:49, 600m: 1:41
Interval 3: 600m: 1:51, 600m: 1:41, 
Interval 4: 600m: 1:52, 600m: 1:41
6.5 miles total/PM: 4 miles
Wed- AM: 15 miles/PM: 5 miles
Thurs- AM: 3 mile tempo: 15:03, 6 miles total/PM: 5 miles
Fri- AM: 8 miles/PM: 5 miles + strides
Sat- AM: 2 x 1600m: 4:40, 4:42, 2 x 800m: 2:21, 2:21, 6 miles total
PM: 4 miles
Sun- 20 miles, 2:05:00, 6:15 pace

Total: 96 miles

June 29 - July 5:

Mon- AM: 3200m of 50m on/off: 10:05, 5.5 miles total
PM: 7 miles
Tues- AM: 1600m: 4:31, 4.5 miles total/PM: 4 miles
Wed- AM: 6 miles/PM: 8 miles
Thurs- AM: 6 miles/PM: 3.5 miles + strides
Fri- 4.5 miles
Sat- Autism Speaks 5K, 1st place, 15:24
Sun- 20 miles

Total: 80 miles

July 6 - July 12:

Mon- AM: 5.5 miles/PM: 4 miles
Tues- AM: 12 miles/PM: 5 miles
Wed- AM: 4 x 1200m w/ pace accelerations:
Interval 1: 600m: 1:49, 600m: 1:40, 
Interval 2: 600m: 1:49, 600m: 1:40,
Interval 3: 600m: 1:49, 600m: 1:40, 
Interval 4: 600m: 1:51, 600m: 1:41
7.5 miles total/PM: 7.5 miles
Thurs- AM: 8 miles/PM: 6 miles
Fri- AM: 12 miles/PM: 5.5 miles + strides
Sat- 3 x 1600m: 4:40, 4:40, 4:39, 10 miles total 
Sun- 20 miles

Total: 104 miles

Saturday was one of the best workouts I've ever had in terms of quality.  You can see the improvements here week to week.  It's great when you're doing a 2 mile on the track with 50m on and 50m off and still run a 9:50....a time I would race all out when I was in high school.  Sunday(tomorrow) will be 20 miles, and my mileage this week will be around +/- 105.  My last race of the summer will be the Rockville Twilighter on July 18.  I'm really excited for this race.  The last time I ran this was in 2012, where I placed 6th in 25:08.  After the twilighter, the training will switch over and I'll do 2 weeks of endurance work, and go right into specific marathon training in August.  The difference here is that I will be going into the training very aerobically strong and fast(used to 100 mpw already with high intensity), and shifting the workouts by putting more effort into the longer runs and longer tempos, and moving my mileage up to 120 mpw.  Since dropping out of Chicago last year, I've been determined to come back to the windy city and finish the damn race this time.  I'll pick up where I left off last time, which was at mile 16.  

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